City Clerk recognized for job excellence

Published 11:30 am Thursday, September 4, 2014

For the past 15 years, Walter Osborne has been the keeper of records for the City of Vicksburg and a source of information on the city’s operations.

He’s served as the city’s tax collector, overseen preparation of the city’s claims docket, the agenda for meetings of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, the minutes of its meetings and kept the board on track during its meetings.

He’s quietly done his job with little publicity, working in the background and outside away from the light that exposes the board.

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That anonymity is about to go.

Osborne on Wednesday received an Excellence in Government Award from Gov. Phil Bryant for local and district officials at a ceremony in Jackson. The award was one of two presented annually by the Mississippi State Personnel Board. The other award honors an official in state government.

He was recognized for his efforts in centralizing the filing system for city records by creating an electronic filing system for board minutes, resolutions, and ordinances. He was also credited with making city records more accessible to the public.

Established in 2011, by the State Personnel Board, the Excellence in Government Award recognizes excellence and innovation in managing administrative procedures in government to increase the quality of public service at the state, district and local government levels.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr nominated Osborne.

“I was pleasantly surprised to know I was nominated,” Osborne said. “I was more surprised to learn I was getting the award.”

“This award is about excellence in government and I felt Walter met all the criteria,” Flaggs said. “He is one of the most knowledgeable people in municipal government and he is very effective in the way he does his work for the city.”

Osborne has been involved in local government for more than 30 years. He began his career working for the city while he was still in college.

He went to work for Warren County in 1982 as an accounting systems analyst for the Board of Supervisors before becoming city clerk in 1999.

“I wore a lot of hats at the county,” he said, adding he also handled the county payroll, and manned the computers for election returns in county elections among other duties.

He also serves as treasurer of the Black Caucus of Local Officials, a post he’s held since 2003.

“This award was surprise to me. I never expected it,” Osborne said. “This is what I enjoy doing, being a public servant and helping people.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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